Corsair AIO Liquid Cooler Round-Up: Ryzen Overclocking Explored

Introducing Corsair's Hydro Series Liquid Coolers

We have been experimenting with AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors here at HotHardware and while they have already proven to be a great value, we wanted to explore some different mainstream cooling options to see what kind of additional goodness we could extract from the processors. All-in-one liquid coolers are not quite as nice looking or as potentially high-performance as a custom built system that can employ hard line tubing and multi-waterblock arrangements, but they are still a step up from many air coolers and don’t require the same hefty investment. This makes all-in-one liquid coolers very appealing for mid-range gaming setups where maximizing performance per dollar is often the goal.

Corsair Hydro Roundup H150i Pro Waterblock

Fortunately for us, Corsair answered the call. Corsair has long been a driving force in the all-in-one liquid cooler market. Many enthusiast builders have looked to their Hydro series models in recent years for improved thermals and clean aesthetics. Corsair’s Hydro series lineup extends from single 120mm radiator models, like the H45 and H60, to their new H150i Pro, a 360mm triple fan behemoth. The H150i Pro is not their only new model, however, as they also just introduced the new 280mm dual fan H115i Pro. In all, Corsair set us up with their H60, H110i Extreme Performance, H115i Pro, and H150i Pro Hydro series coolers.

Corsair Hydro Roundup Cooler Specs
 Price $69.99 $139.99 $139.99 $169.99

As a 120mm single-fan radiator, the H60 is marketed for basic liquid cooling upgrades. It utilizes a basic 54 CFM (cubic feet per minute) fan with 2.36mm-H2O static pressure to offer a minor performance improvement over most stock coolers. It provides no frills with the fan and radiator connecting directly onto motherboard headers, no LED lights, and no special support within Corsair’s Link software.

Corsair Hydro Roundup H60 Full View
Corsair H60

The H110i Extreme Performance cooler, as its name implies, is designed to minimize temps with a larger radiator and dual-140mm fans to deliver increased airflow. Specifically, the SP140L PWM fans provide 113 CFM of airflow at a rated static pressure of 3.99mm-H2O. The waterblock provides its own fan headers for the radiator fans and also features a basic RGB LED lit logo. It integrates with Corsair Link via mini-USB to control lighting and cooling profiles on demand.

Corsair Hydro Roundup H110i Fans
Corsair H110i

Moving onto the new hotness, Corsair’s H115i Pro looks a lot like the H110i with dual 140mm fans, but pushes priorities to the quieter end of the spectrum. The H115i Pro uses magnetic levitation, or ML, series fans to reduce noise under load. Corsair rates these at 20.4 dB(A) under load which would be whisper quiet especially when compared to the roaring 43 dB(A) of the H110i’s SP140L fans. Unfortunately, it also means cooling performance may be reduced as the airflow rating is down to just 55.4 CFM at 1.27mm-H2O. We will of course be examining how much of a difference this makes in practice. Other changes include more RGB LED lighting, a new mounting bracket style for a cleaner appearance, slender tubing for increased flexibility over the H110i, and the USB connector is now micro-USB for Corsair Link integration.

Corsair Hydro Roundup H115i Pro Fans
Corsair H115i Pro

The H150i Pro tops our list out with three 120mm fans to cover maximum surface area (about 10% more than the H110i and H115i Pro) while also prioritizing quieter performance. Like the H115i Pro, the H150i Pro uses ML series fans, though the smaller size brings their rated noise level up slightly to 25 dB(A). Airflow is comparable to the H115i Pro with 47.3 CFM at 1.78mm-H2O but of course the extra fan leads us to expect performance to be just a bit better. The H150i Pro uses the same new mounting system, RGB LED setup, slender tubing, and micro-USB connection.

Corsair Hydro Roundup H150i Pro Fans Angle
Corsair H150i Pro

We will be comparing all four against AMD’s own very capable Wraith MAX air cooler. The Wraith MAX marks a departure from the poor performance we usually expect from stock coolers with its 140W TDP rating. It is not included with the Ryzen R5 1600X we will use in our testing, however, it still provides a good reference point for typical air coolers a builder may consider in lieu of liquid cooling. The basic design of the Wraith MAX is similar to the original Wraith cooler, but features a new 92mm fan and redesigned shroud to improve performance using the same four copper heatpipe setup.

Corsair Hydro Roundup Wraith Max
AMD Wraith MAX

So now that our five contenders are outlined, let's check out the rest of our test system...

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